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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Dog Bite/Attack?

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated 9th May 2022. If you have been hurt by a bite from a dog belonging to another party, you may be entitled to claim compensation. In this guide, we are going to explain how dog bite claims work. Britain is known as a nation of dog lovers. Most dogs within this country are cared for responsibly and they are friendly animals. However, there are rare instances when this isn’t the case. If a dog has turned aggressive, and you have been bitten or attacked as a consequence, you may be able to seek compensation through a dog attack claim.

These types of claims are something our personal injury solicitors have many years of experience in handling. Therefore, if you have strong grounds to make a dog attack claim, one of our solicitors may be able to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. For more information on how to claim, please read on.

Time Limit for Claiming Dog Bite Compensation

You may have heard about personal injury claim time limits before. For those of you that haven’t, all personal injury cases are subject to time limits within which claims can be started.

You risk missing out on compensation which you were entitled to receive if you take longer than necessary to get your claim underway. We always recommend starting proceedings to get your claim underway as soon as you can. With all of this in mind, it’s worth being aware of these time limits so you can ensure that you’re still within the set limitation period.

Dog Bite Claim

Dog Bite Claim

For most personal injury claims, including those for dog bite compensation, the standard time limit is 3 years from the date of the incident.

Exceptions can also be made to this time limit when the claimant cannot claim for themselves. For example, a child under 18 cannot legally claim until they come of age. In such cases, the time limit wouldn’t come into effect until the victim’s 18th birthday.

Another way the time limit may be frozen (at least temporarily) is when the victim of a dog bite lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. In the event that the victim later regains enough mental capacity to act on their own, the time limit will start from when this happens. If a victim is currently unable to start a claim on their own, then someone close to the victim may be able to start a claim on their behalf. In such cases, the representative for the victim is known formally as a litigation friend.

To see if you could make dog bite compensation claims, please get in touch today for a consultation with free legal advice. In the meantime, please continue reading our guide.

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A guide to accident claims for dog bite/attack injuries

If you do a quick search online, you may notice numerous stories with headlines along the lines of ‘dog bites man,’ ‘my dog bites me,’ ‘dog bite nails,’ and other similar examples. While these stories are plentiful, dog attacks aren’t common in the grand scheme of things. But this does not mean that they don’t happen. And it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t attempt to claim dog bite compensation.

If you have been the victim of a dog attack, it can be extremely distressing. Some dog attacks are severe and can require years of treatment. Others may only be minor, but the psychological impact can linger on for a very long time.

In this guide, you will find information regarding what to do if you are involved in a dog attack, how to begin a claim for dog bites UK wide, as well as details on the average compensation awarded. If you have any queries about the information in this guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

What is a dog bite/attack injury?

A dog bite or attack injury is any type of personal injury due to an aggressive dog. So long as the incident was not your fault, i.e. you were not provoking the dog in any manner, you may be able to claim compensation.

When could I file a claim for dog bite compensation?

There is usually a 3-year maximum time limit in which to start a compensation claim. This applies from when the dog bite incident took place.

Top tips for proving a dog bite claim

Whether your dog has bitten someone, or someone else’s dog has bitten you, evidence will need to be gathered to show that the person has suffered the dog attack injury as a result of negligence.

For example, the dog owner may be responsible. If you have been injured due to a dog bite, compensation being awarded to you can depend on whether or not you can prove your injury was caused by negligence.

Some examples of useful evidence could include:

  • Visual evidence – Photographs of your injuries could come in very useful not only in proving that your injuries were sustained, but also how severe they were. CCTV footage and other video evidence may also have captured the incident.
  • Witness details – Others may have seen the incident as it occurred. They could help back up your claim if you ask for their contact details and a solicitor can collect an official statement on the subject of what they saw.
  • Medical records – Important information such as how severe your injuries were and the date they were sustained could be contained in these official documents.

Get in touch today if you have any further questions about proving a dog bite injury claim.

How to begin a dog bite/attack claim

Making a criminal injuries compensation dog bite claim can be easy when you use our service. All you need to do is give us a call. We can advise on any queries you may have about this type of claim. If you’re eligible to make such a claim, we may also be able to support you by connecting you with one of our solicitors. We may also be able to arrange a local medical for you as part of your dog bite compensation claim.

Dog bite/attack at work claims

Suppose you have been bitten by a dog while at work. You can claim compensation. If you are a vet or work in the veterinary industry, and you will likely come in contact with aggressive dogs, you may be able to claim against your employer if the necessary precautions have not been put into place.

This is something we can advise you on further. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch about claiming for a dog bite.

Bitten by a banned breed of dog, can I claim compensation?

If a banned breed of dog has bitten you, you may have strong grounds to claim for compensation. Not only is the owner breaking the law by owning the dog in question, but also they have then been negligent by enabling the dog to cause harm to another person.

We have plenty of experience in handling such cases and we always strive to secure the maximum dog bite compensation.

A list of illegal/banned dogs in the UK

It is against the law to own any of the following types of dogs in the UK:

  • Fila Brasilerio
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pit Bull Terrier

It is also against the law to:

  • Breed from a banned dog
  • Give away a banned dog
  • Abandon a banned dog
  • Sell a banned dog

Why do you claim against when involved in a dog bite or attack?

In most cases, you will claim compensation from the owner of the dog. After all, the dog is their responsibility. However, there are some exceptions, i.e. cases whereby someone else is to blame for the incident. A good example of this is workplace dog attack claims.

If you work in an environment and you have regular interactions with dogs, and the necessary precautions for your health and safety have not been taken, you could have grounds for a claim against your employer.

My child was attacked by a dog can we claim compensation?

If a dog has attacked your child, you may be entitled to claim dog bite child compensation on their behalf. However, if you don’t proceed with a dog bite compensation claim, your child will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to do so themselves.

I got bit by a dog causing me to have tetanus can I claim compensation?

Compensation payouts for dog bites cover a wide range of injuries and incidents, including dog bites that have resulted in tetanus. Tetanus is a rare but serious condition, which is caused when bacteria gets into a wound. Symptoms of tetanus include:

  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • A high temperature of 38C or above
  • Painful muscle spasms, which make it difficult to swallow and breathe
  • Stiffness in your jaw, which can make it difficult to open your mouth

To launch a dog bit tetanus claim, please give us a call.

What is the law regarding dog bites?

There are several laws in place regarding keeping and controlling dogs. A dog owner has a legal responsibility to keep their dog under control. They must register their dog, ensure it does not create public nuisance, and they’re responsible if their dog attacks another person.

I got bit by a stray dog can I claim compensation?

Claiming compensation for a stray dog attack can be more difficult. There are ways you can go about trying to find the owner. If you have been unable to do so, you may have grounds to claim against the council or anyone responsible for the area in which you were bit, be it a business park or a local housing estate.

The best thing to do is to call us. That way, we can better understand your dog bite compensation claim and advise you correctly.

What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced due to several incidents involving uncontrolled and aggressive dogs. This act involved banning the four breeds of dogs mentioned above. It also banned the breeding, exchange, and sale of these dogs.

Aside from this, it enforced all dog owners to register, insure, neuter, tattoo, and microchip their dogs.

My dog has bitten someone but I don’t have insurance, what should I do?

If your dog has bitten someone and you do not have insurance, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Can I make a claim for a loved one who has been attacked by a dog?

You can launch a claim for compensation for dog bite victims on their behalf if they are unable to do so. If your relative suffers serious injuries and cannot claim themselves, you could secure compensation for them.

What can be claimed for after a dog bite/attack?

Dog bite compensation payouts cover the following:

  • General damages – This covers the pain and suffering you have experienced
  • Medical bills
  • Travel expenses
  • Claim for loss of earnings
  • Care claim – If you have required home assistance to recover, the person that has cared for you can claim.

The most common dog bites or attacks

The most common injuries that occur due to dog bites or attacks include cuts, wounds, scars, and similar injuries. The severity of the injury will differ depending on the attack. But in many cases, plastic surgery may be necessary to smooth out the scar so that it’s less noticeable.

Dog bites could also cause an infection. Symptoms of this may include:

  • Red streaks that extend along the skin from the wound
  • Swollen glands in the neck, groin, armpit, or under the chin
  • Chills and sweats
  • A fever of 38C or above
  • Pus or liquid leaks from the wound
  • The wound feels increasingly painful and warm
  • Swelling and redness around the wound

If you think the wound leaves you infectious, it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible.

How much compensation will I get after a dog bite/attack

Many people get in touch with us to ask about the average payout for dog bite UK claims. You may have even come across a compensation calculator online. It is important to understand that these calculators can only provide you with a rough estimate.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to give you a definitive figure regarding the amount of compensation you will receive. This is because every injury case is different with so many variables. However, we can tell you the average compensation for a dog bite and the typical payout amounts for injuries related to dog attacks.

If you cannot find the injury you are suffering from within this table, please do not hesitate to get in touch, and we will be happy to advise you further.

Reason for compensationTypical compensation amountComments
Mental anguish£4,380Fear of death and expectation of end of life
Severe psychiatric damage£51,460 to £108,620This relates to incidents whereby the prognosis is poor and there are marked problems with regards to future vulnerability, the extent to which treatment would be successful, the impact on the injured person’s relationships with friends and family, and claimant’s ability to cope with work and life.
Moderately severe psychiatric damage£17,900 to £51,460In these cases, there will be problems mentioned in the above bracket, yet the prognosis will be a lot more optimistic.
Less severe psychiatric damage£1,440 to £5,500For these cases, the person does not have a specific disorder or phobia. The payout will be determined by the extent to which sleep and daily activities were affected, as well as the length of the period of disability.
Facial disfigurement – Very severe scarring£27,940 to £91,350For such cases, the psychological reaction will be severe, and the cosmetic impact will be very disfiguring.
Facial disfigurement – Less severe scarring £16,860 to £45,440This relates to cases whereby there is a significant psychological reaction and disfigurement is still substantial.
Scarring to other parts of the body - SevereLikely to exceed £79,700The size of the award will be impacted by: the psychological impact, any resulting physical disability, the next for and extent of surgery, the cosmetic impact of the injuries, the person’s reaction to the cosmetic impact of the injuries, whether the scars are superficial, partial thickness, or full thickness, and the percentage of body area that has been affected.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,470Such cases will involve permanent effects which prevent the injured person from working at all or at least from functioning at anything approaching the pre-trauma level.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderatley Severe£21,730 to £56,180This prognosis will involve some recovery with professional help. However, the effects are still likely to cause significant disability for the foreseeable future.

No Win No Fee dog bite/attack claims

One of the key benefits of our service is the fact we work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that anyone can make a compensation claim, irrespective of their current financial status.

You will not need any money to make a claim, and you will never find yourself in the position whereby you have a huge legal bill to pay. However, you may not receive any compensation. This is because our No Win No Fee service means that you will only need to pay legal fees if your case is successful. And in that case, you will have compensation to cover the cost.

There are many knock-on benefits for making a No Win No Fee dog bite UK claim. This includes the fact that you can be confident we will never waste your time. We only take on cases that we believe have a genuine chance of success; we have nothing to gain by stringing you along.

On the other hand, if your solicitor works by the hour, they may only take your case for the payout. After all, the outcome of your dog bite compensation claim doesn’t impact them in the way that it could impact you.

Why choose us as your claims service for a dog bite claim?

At Legal Expert, our clients are always our number one priority. When we support a client’s claim, it’s always our aim to secure the maximum possible compensation payout and to get this in the most efficient and hassle-free manner. We want you to focus on your recovery while we will focus on getting the compensation you deserve.

You can also be certain of expert service when you get in touch with us. We have many years of experience in the industry and an impeccable reputation to back it up. We know personal injury law like the back of our hands, and we have secure compensation for many cases involving dogs, including dog bites, child claims and claims for dog bite infections. You only need to read the reviews from our previous clients to see that this is the case.

Call for free advice and to start a claim

If you want to claim dog bite compensation, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can speak to a member of our friendly and professional team by calling 0800 073 8804.

We will also have any questions about claims for dog bites, including queries regarding dog bite law, average compensation for dog bite claims, and much more.

Useful links

Government website on controlling your dog in public

This link takes you to the UK Government’s guide on controlling your dog in public. It provides useful information on banned dogs, Public Spaces Protection Orders, dog fouling, and reporting a dog.

Government website on dangerous dog law changes

This link is useful, as it takes you to a press release that explains the changes in the law regarding dangerous dogs. In 2013, the law would change to cover dog attacks on private properties. You can find more information here.

NHS On Dog Bites

This link takes you to the human, animal, and dog bite NHS page. It explains what to do after a bite, getting medical advice/treatment, infection symptoms, common causes and avoiding bites.

Report a stray dog

If you want to report a stray dog, use this link to do so. You can use the search function to find a postcode to contact the dog’s owner. If you do not know the dog’s owner, you need to contact your local council.

Legislation Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

This link provides you with plenty of information regarding the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This includes information on the effect of the Act, the index of exempted dogs, comparable legislation elsewhere, and much more.

Other Personal Injury Claims Guides

Dog Bite Compensation FAQs

Can you sue someone for a dog bite?

You may be able to start a personal injury claim for a dog bite if you are able to establish that the incident occurred, the dog does not belong to you and you were not at fault for the bite occurring. A potentially valid claim also usually needs to be started within 3 years of when the incident took place.

How much can I claim for a dog bite?

The amount of compensation that can be claimed through a valid dog bite claim can vary. Factors such as what injuries/illnesses you’ve experienced and how severe they are have to be taken into account. Potentially, special damages for financial losses directly linked to the dog bite may also be factored in. So total compensation amounts for dog bite claims can change a lot if you were to compare different cases.

What happens if my dog bites someone?

Be prepared to exchange contact details with the victim if your dog bites someone. You may also want to share contact details with witnesses to the incident who can support your version of events. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is against the law to let your dog become dangerously out of control anywhere including public places or private homes.

How long do you have to claim for a dog bite?

The maximum window in which to file a compensation claim is three years.

Are dog bites permanent?

This isn’t always the case, but many victims bear scars and permanent nerve damage after a dog bite.

What should you do when a dog bites someone?

You should seek medical attention, collect information (e.g. CCTV footage), report the bite and receive legal advice.

How do I report a dog bite?

You can call 101 to report it to the police.

How do you defend a dog bite case?

This is about claiming with appropriate evidence that the dog’s reaction was to the victim provoking it. Pet insurance may also help in this regard.

What are the consequences of a dog bite?

The victim may see bacteria enter their body, causing major and potentially life-threatening infections without sufficient medical treatment. Hence the need to wash the wound ASAP and to use the likes of iodine on the skin where the bite happens.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about dog bite claims for compensation, you are welcome to contact the Legal Expert advisors.

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